Excerpt from The Development of American Bacteriology
In Europe the work is almost universally car ried on in connection with the faculties of med icine, but in our own country, in a number of universities, sometimes even those provided with medical colleges, bacteriology is taught in the regular science work as a part of biologi cal instruction. In such institutions bacteriolo gists may be trained just as are chemists or botanists. Where work of this scope is given, the bacteria are considered as living organisms and are studied as such. The fact that certain forms are capable of' calling forth pathological processes, or are concerned in the production ofcertain fermentative products which may pos sess a utilitarian value, has no weight except as an expression of more or less highly special ized physiological activity. If we consider the phenomena of parasitism broadly, it gives a breadth of perspective that is of greatest ser vice to the student, even if later he should take up a more detailed study of pathogenic forms. So far as I have been able to learn, such pre paratory work is especially valuable as a basis on which to raise a more technical or special ized superstructure. It is the general experi ence of teachers in medical schools that stu dents who have had their elementary bacteri ological training in such courses as these are able to make the most progress in their medical work, and obtain a much broader grasp of the subject than the student who yields. To the no tion that it is much more profitable for him to spend his time wholly on the distinctively'dis ease-producing species.
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